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Sunday, March 23, 2014

MISSING LUGGAGE – MISSING LEADER?



Decades before Schapelle Corby in Bali and missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.... Canberra man and former Australian Federal Parliament electrician Don Dimov, inexplicably caught in a real life 1970s James Bond Cold War espionage adventure, tells.... my tangle with Yugoslav intelligence, UDBa....and ASIO...

MISSING LUGGAGE – MISSING LEADER? The Dragan Bogdanovski kidnapping in France.

By Sasha Uzunov

DON DIMOV – On Wednesday 29 June 1977 Australian-Macedonian Don Dimov travelling by plane with two colleagues from Australia arrived in Paris, the capital of France. They were en route to an emigre Macedonian independence movement--known by the appropriate and quirky acronym DOOM--conference in the then West Germany. At about the same time it was alleged that DOOM leader Dragan Bogdanovski (1929-98) was kidnapped in Paris by agents of UDBa, Yugoslav intelligence, and then secretly smuggled into the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, then within Communist Yugoslavia to face trial and subsequent imprisonment for anti-Yugoslav activities.

Don and his companions' suitcases went mysteriously missing at one of Paris's two major airports. However, with literally just the clothes on their backs they continued their journey by train from Paris to Bremen, West Germany where their luggage unexpectedly turned up. From the northern port city of Bremen they caught a connecting train to the city of Goslar, in the state of Lower Saxony, Federal Republic of Germany--with the picturesque Harz mountains. This was the venue for DOOM's conference.

When Don opened his suitcase in Bremen he found some documents missing namely the DOOM party platform and some copies of the Makedonska Nacija (Macedonian Nation), DOOM's official newspaper.

Did French intelligence turn a blind eye to UDBa operating on French soil because of the Cold War? Or did French intelligence open the suitcases? Communist Yugoslavia because of its rivalry with the Soviet Union was regarded as a de facto ally of the West. The thinking at the time in Washington, London, Paris, Bonn, Ottawa, Canberra was to permit UDBa to carry on its intelligence operations unmolested as the price to pay for Belgrade's anti-Moscow stance.

MOSCOW GOLD? Legendary Australian newspaperman Jack Waterford reveals that the Soviets may have had an interest in the Yugoslav versus Croats showdown in Australia during the early 1970s. 

What we do know for certain is Don was also being monitored by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, ASIO, as well as UDBa, who both incorrectly identified Don as being a Yugoslav citizen when he wasn't. He was later able to gain access to his ASIO file.

In the 1970s Don Dimov was involved with DOOM – Dvizenje za Osloboduvanje i Obedinuvanje na Makedonija - the Movement for the Liberation and Unification of Macedonia. DOOM's aim was to reunify partitioned Macedonia and turn it into an independent nation-state through peaceful means. In 1913 Macedonia had been carved up between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria with Albania taking a small slice. The part under Serbo-Yugoslav control became the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1944 within multi-ethnic Communist Federal Yugoslavia with more autonomy, but still with restrictions, than the other parts of Macedonia. The leader of what eventually became known as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the wily Marshal Josip Broz Tito who played one ethnic group against another. SFR Yugoslavia consisted of the republics of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 1941--two years into World War II and just before the Soviet invasion, Yugoslavia then ruled by Serbian King Petar II was invaded by the armed forces of Nazi Germany, and her axis allies Fascist Italy and Bulgaria.

Yugoslav communist Josip Broz Tito, born to a Croat father and Slovene mother, started a partizan resistence movement, embracing Serbs, Croats, Macedonians, Slovenians, Bosnians, Montenegrins, annd other ethnic groups.

However, because of its isolation, the part of Macedonia within Yugoslavia set up its own Partizan resistence movement which consisted of an uneasy alliance of Macedonian communists and nationalists. The Macedonian partizans as well as the civilian population endured a brutal occupation by the Bulgarians. Macedonia's Jewish population was wiped out by Bulgaria.

After the war, the Macedonian nationalists where largely arrested and forced to face stage-managed and rigged Stalinist show trials at the instigation of Tito and carried out by his Macedonian followers: Lazar Kolisevski, Lazar Mojsov, later to become President of the United Nations General Assembly and Yugoslavia's Foreign Minister, and Kole Chasule senior.

One of the most infamous communist show trials was of nationalist Metodija Andonov Cento, the first President of Macedonia within Federal Communist Yugoslavia. He was found guilty of trumped up charges in 1946. In 1990 a Macedonian court rehabilitated Chento.

Because large numbers of Macedonian nationalists had taken part in the Macedonian partizan resistence movement, they could not be accused of being fascist collaborators by Tito.

During the Greek Civil War, Tito had promised ethnic Macedonians autonomy within Greece if they sided with the Communists against the British and the American backed Greek monarchist forces. The result was a disaster as thousands of Macedonians, including children fled Greece for their lives. The United States under the command of General James Van Fleet had literally bombed parts of Greek controlled Macedonia back into the stone age.

Tito's behaviour was later seen as opportunistic as he was simultaneously supporting the Communist uprising in Greece but cutting a deal with the West when he split from Moscow's orbit in 1949. This balancing act, of playing off one group over another, the playing of the ethnic card became Tito's calling card.

In 1974 a new Yugoslav constitution created within Serbia two autonomous regions, Kosovo-Metohija, predominately Albanian, and Vojvodina, with a large Hungarian minority. By the late 1980s fear within Yugoslavia at the rise of Serbian and Albanian nationalism in Kosovo as well as the faltering economy triggered off alarm bells, in particular Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia.

By the early 1970s the Macedonian diaspora became disenchanted with Tito's Yugoslavia after it had abandoned the plight of ethnic Macedonians in neighbouring Greece, Bulgaria and Albania, who were being denied basic human rights.

DOOM with its political platform and rousing nationalist rhetoric found fertile soil amongst the Macedonian diaspora in Australia, North America and Western Europe. However, de-classified 1970s intelligence files from ASIO found DOOM not to be a terrorist organisation nor posed a threat to Australia's internal security.

DOOM by the early 1970s had split into two factions, one led by the enigmatic and charismatic Dragan Bogdanovski, who ended up living in Norway and Sweden, and one faction led by his opponents. There where claims and counter-claims with Bogdanovski being accused of fabricating his story about kidnapping but his supporters remain adamant he was a genuine dissident who was imprisoned.

Two Australian-Macedonian intellectuals, Dr Chris Popov and A. Michael Radin in their 1990 strongly worded critique entitled 'Who hijacked DOOM?' (Panorama, Volume 1, No 1, 1990 published by the Macedonian Cultural Society, Iskra, South Australia) wrote:

It is for this reason [DOOM's popularity] that supporters and members of DOOM in Australia believe that the Yugoslav secret police, UDBA and Yugoslav diplomatic representatives tried so hard to destroy DOOM's influence and organisational base.”

Both Popov and Radin were concerned with Bogdanovski's fiery rhetoric especially his attack on the Macedonian Orthodox Church with its seat in Skopje, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia.

But as the ASIO files reveal DOOM was never involved in using violence even though in mid 1970s it led a strong campaign to stop Yugoslavia's (via Skopje) takeover of the local Macedonian churches through the Yugoslav Consul General in Melbourne, Dr Georgi Trajkovski (1975-79), an ethnic Macedonian originally from Aegean Macedonia but who had thrown in his lot with Tito's Yugoslavia and rewarded with a diplomatic career.

DOOM's stance, complete with highly emotional tone, complained that the Macedonian Orthodox Church during the the 1970s and 80s of :

...having today a Yugoslav brain and a Russo-Slavian soul....propagating Titoism and Communism, not Christianity. Slavism is glorified – Russian lies.”

Moreover, DOOM's analysis of Yugoslavia's economic policy up to the 1970s struck a chord with the many Macedonians migrating to the West and fleeing poverty:

...Tito's self-managed socialism, with the anarchy in the state economy which has driven a quarter of a million Macedonians out of the....Republic....the underdeveloped Macedonian Republic is held in neo-colonial bondage by the more developed Republics of Yugoslavia...On a Yugoslav wide-level, the living standards in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia are the lowest and unemployment the highest...the much publicised “brotherhood and unity” amongst the peoples and nationalities of Yugoslavia is greatly deceptive.”

Don as a young ethnic Macedonian boy was forced to flee his homeland, that part of Macedonia under Greek control but known as Aegean Macedonia, during the Greek Civil War (1946-49) and found temporary sanctuary in the part of Macedonia in the then Communist Yugoslavia before arriving in Australia. He left behind his village of Statica. Ilija Dimovski-Goce, a famous ethnic Macedonian partizan fighter during World War II and later in the Greek Civil War was Don's uncle.

In 1948-49, about 30,000 ethnic Macedonian children were evacuated across the border to avoid the wrath of Greek Nationalist forces, supported by the West. They are referred to as the Deca Beglaci (Child Refugees). Don identified himself as a Macedonian and not as a Greek nor as a Yugoslav citizen.

Don married, raised a family and spent 30 years working as a qualified electrician in Australia's Federal Parliament, starting in 1974. He was a highly respected Macedonian community member in the Australian Capital Territory and the surrounding New South Wales towns of Queanbeyan. On 14 September 1977 ASIO paid him a visit in his then home in Queanbeyan and asked him to visit ASIO's Canberra office on 16 September 1977. Being a law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide, Don went and answered some questions and then was left in peace.

Ironically and incredibly, as Don explains: “The next day I was at work and told to go into Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's office and check the lights, power sockets and so on. When I walked in the ASIO officer who had previously interviewed me was there and dumbfounded asked me what I was doing here?”

Don adds: “I told him I work here! The ASIO officer gave me a half-smile and left me to it.”

Don knew the spiritual founders of DOOM, including the enigmatic Dragan Bogdanovski (pictured), a long time exiled dissident who ended up founding the major Macedonian nationalist party, VMRO-DPMNE, in 1990 which would eventually come to power in post-communist Macedonia. However, Bogdanovski left the party in 1993 after falling fell out with Ljubco Georgievski, another party leader; accusing Georgievski of being pro-Bulgarian. 

Georgievski became Prime Minister of Macedonia (1998-2002) but was later forced out of VMRO-DPMNE. He remains a controversial figure.

Don has kept all of his letters he corresponded with Bogdanovski during the 1970s and would no doubt be of enormous historical value to Macedonia's national archive.

Another leading DOOM official was Blagoja Sambevski, later found murdered in West Germany in 1974. The murder remains unresolved with allegations that an undercover UDBa hitman, an ethnic Macedonian, had committed the assassination. But the hard evidence remains elusive.

What we do know now is that UDBa was using criminals, thugs, bank robbers, psychiatric patients, as sub-contractors for killings or destabilisation operations against emigre Croats, Macedonians and others.

American academic Dr John Schindler has done an incredible in depth study of UDBa and had uncovered that many of the warlords and criminal underworld that came to the fore in the wars in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s were ex-UDBa operatives.

One such character was infamous Serb warlord Zeljko Raznjatovic-Arkan, who began his career as a bank robber in Western Europe but did part time killings for UDBa in the 1970s before reinventing himself as a Serb nationalist after Yugoslavia's disintegration.

In 1988 a Macedonian Child Refugee -Deca Begalci - 40th year reunion was held in Skopje, the capital of Socialist Republic of Macedonia, then within Communist Yugoslavia. Macedonia became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. At the time Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic put pressure on the Yugoslav media to downplay the event as a favour to neighbouring Greece.

Don and his wife arrived for the 1988 Deca Begalci reunion and touched down at Surcin airport in Belgrade, the capital of both Serbia and Communist Yugoslavia. Don and his wife headed for their hotel and moments later a knock on the door came and Don was summoned to a police station to answer some questions. Don, thinking on his feet, told his wife to call the Australian Embassy.

It was apparent that Don was being monitored by UDBa. At the Police station Don was questioned about his activities.

I told the police officers, I was an ethnic Macedonian from Aegean Macedonia and was not a Yugoslav citizen. I couldn't even speak Serbian and only knew Macedonian and English,” Don said.

They asked why I was involved in anti-Yugoslav activities. I kept on repeating I wasn't even Yugoslav. I was only acting in a pro-Macedonian manner.

They then asked how much money I had on me?”



Don's response: “My wife has my money. Eventually they let me go.”

The 1977-78 ASIO assessment on DOOM - "Members of the pro-Yugoslav faction on the other hand allege they are being harassed by DOOM. From information received to date it appears that DOOM is the successor to the Macedonian Liberation Organisation known as VRMO...

The 1977 ASIO assessment paper on DOOM:

"DOOM is only of minor security interest to ASIO. It is not known to have participated in acts of violence in Australia or overseas.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PUTIN PLAYS KOSOVO CARD ON CRIMEA






POLITICAL POKER - Putin plays Kosovo card on Obama over Crimea....
by Sasha Uzunov

You gotta hand it to Russian Federation President Vladimir "Fred" Putin in outsmarting US President Barack Obama over the annexation of Crimea from its hitherto "owner" the Ukraine by evoking NATO's bombing of Serbia over Kosovo....

He told the Russian Parliament:    see link:

In the speech he challenged Washington’s position, which says that Kosovo was a unique case and could not justify any other move towards independence in the world.
“Our western partners created the Kosovo precedent with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary,” Putin reminded, adding that the UN International Court of Justice agreed to those arguments.
“That’s what they wrote, that what they trumpeted all over the world, coerced everyone into it – and now they are complaining. Why is that?” he asked.
Now over Kosovo in 1999, Russia under President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Evgeni Primakov sold out Serbia...Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic arrogantly thought he had Russian backing...or thought he could play off NATO against Moscow... It was a diplomatic trick or shtik borrowed from Yugoslav strongman Marshal Tito's Coldwar playbook. But it didn't work...

Primakov who was then Russian PM went on defending Milosevic in public but Russia cut a deal with Washington. To save face, if you remember the Russians "were allowed" to occupy Pristina airport....first... There was this pretend "standoff" between NATO and Russia in Kosovo which CNN with all the hoopla reported. It was all play-acting par excellence. Superpower politics. Both the US and Russia look after their own interests...

Who is Yeltsin's protege? Putin...!

A blast from the past - see link

RUSSIA "ABANDONS" SERBIA OVER KOSOVO - 1999

"Late in the war, Serbia's diplomatic isolation mounted as Russia began to cooperate with the NATO allies and abandon its blustery support for its fellow Slavs. The change was dramatic. At the beginning of the war, Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov had turned his Washington-bound plane around in mid-flight to signal his country's displeasure. Weeks of anti-NATO popular protest and official posturing ensued in Russia.

"However on April 14, 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed Viktor Chernomyrdin as his chief Balkans envoy, signaling Russia's desire to chart a new Kosovo policy and to salvage its essential relationship with the West. After a series of marathon negotiations with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Chernomyrdin and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari successfully presented NATO's demands to Milosevic in Belgrade on June 3."
--------
Is Putin wrong? Crimea is similar to Kosovo...? Putin addresses the Russian Parliament. See link.

Ah let's see: Russians in the Crimea are the majorty. By 1991 Kosovar Albanians were 90% of the population and the Serbs were under 10% in Kosovo.

In 1991 Milosevic sent in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) tanks into Slovenia, which had seceded, triggering the war in the then Yugoslavia and as a "consequence" of "his own" actions ended up losing Kosovo....But hey let's blame someone else for your behaviour.

Belgrade remains sore at NATO for it support of Kosovo and the bombing of Serbia. The actions were wrong on NATO's part but if you take NATO out of the equation, the Kosovar Albanians would have still broken away from Serbia anyway, it would have taken longer and the conflict would have been more brutal.

Over the last decade we've heard this constant conspiracy theory from smoke filled Belgrade cafe's blaming the West, the Vatican, radical Islam and whoever takes your fancy for Serbia's problems.

It is ironic now that Serbia is taking alleged "wahhabist" cash from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a billion euro loan. But hey why let some conspiracy theory get in the way of someone picking up the bill for your lavish modern lifestyle....

Crimea is being used as an "alibi" by Belgrade for "losing" Kosovo, that is making lifestyle choices as in having one child and leaving Kosovo for the Belgrade nightlife whilst Kosovar Albanians were having 4 or 5 kids and working the land in the villages.

But hey, don't let demographic reality get in the way... just blame someone else...for your mistakes... and your lifestyle choices.

You have to ask yourself why did NATO, in particular the US, bomb Belgrade in 1999? Why did the Serb leadership give in? Maybe it has to do with the "Belgrade cafe society lifestyle" and no Russian safety net?

Napoleon once said that you must strike the enemy at his most weakest point...


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Monday, March 03, 2014

DEMOGRAPHY DETERMINES DESTINY - Russia's gamble




DEMOGRAPHY DETERMINES DESTINY - Russia's gamble in the Ukraine, Crimea
by Sasha Uuznov 

We come back to the dreaded Triple D and I don't mean bra size, pardon the momentary lapse into patriachy, ladies! DEMOGRAPHY DETERMINES DESTINY - Triple D !

The reason Russian Federation President Vladimir "Fred" Putin is moving quickly is the demographic time bomb ticking in Russia. Ethnic Russians have the worst demographics in the world..ie lowest birthrate etc. They have the seething Caucauses (Kavkaz) in their backyard plus Islamists in Chechnya & Dagestan etc. 

So even if Russia was to subdue the Crimea & the Ukraine it will stretch its resources elsewhere. Time is not on Russia's side, which is why it has to act fast to achieve its strategic objectives. Putin knows this and it's why he has to keep Syria afloat in its war against Sunni Islamists who otherwise would be waging jihad in his backyard; why he is perceived to be "hard" on homosexual activists/lobbyists.

We hate to say "we told you so"! Macedonian Foreign Policy shambles. 

UKRAINE & Macedonia- After the Ukraine will the Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania & Estonia) be next on Russia's list of acquisitions? If Russian President Putin is not afraid to use force in the Ukraine he probably won't be afraid to use it elsewhere. What does that mean for the US & EU if they don't act with force? It tells Moscow that the West is weak and Eastern Europe & the Balkans region could also come into question and be up for grabs.

Professor John Schindler of the US Naval War College writes: (link)

“Moscow understands only force and willingness to sacrifice human lives”

"As I write, the Kremlin has won a seemingly bloodless victory by seizing Crimea without real resistance. As Europe panics and U.S. leadership seems to have no idea what to do about Vladimir Putin’s single-handed shredding of Europe’s post-Cold War rulebook, the next step is unclear. To be sure, if Putin moves forces into ethnically Russian areas of eastern Ukraine – as the Duma has “approved” and he told President Obama he reserves the right to – Europe will have a real war on its hands; it is already in its biggest crisis since the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. But a wider war cannot be ruled out. At a minimum, the post-1991 assurances that Europe would be forever at peace, that “soft power” could conquer all, or nearly so, that the continent’s biggest problems would be arguments over EU agricultural subsidies, have been shattered for good." (end quote)

For Macedonian governments, past & present, their approach with or obsession with following a particular foreign fashion to the exclusion of exploring their diplomatic options such as the obsession with Titoist Yugoslavism or now trying to desperately get into the EU tells you the inability of the "experts" in the capital city, Skopje, they are out of their league. They are unable to understand that the world is an unstable place and you need to think for yourself. Just look to the south and you see the economic basket case in Greece. You can't put all your diplomatic eggs in one basket. You need to play the balancing act.

if Putin's Russia can get away with it, assuming it does, then it may not be far-fetched for Macedonia to be in Moscow's firing line for bowing to Western pressure and its own stupidity in turning a blind eye to ethnic Albanian terrorists from Macedonia who fight in Syria. All Macedonian governments since the 2001 War in the country have been either strongarmed by the West or have cynically pandered to the demands of ethnic Albanian extremists within Macedonia... It reminds you of the Suddeten German minority bullying the Czechoslovak majority in 1938 with Hitler pulling the strings and the West appeasing before it was too late.

A parody of Kevin Costner's Western/cowboy film - Dances with Wolves. Skopje - dances with wolves,  Ceca & Aziz ! Dancing diplomats & prancing politicians !

Years ago, The stupidity of Macedonian diplomacy culminated in recognising Kosovo's independence without squeezing concessions from neighbouring Serbia of which Kosovo seceded from. Belgrade asked Skopje not to accord recognition. In response the Macedonian government should have pressed Serbia and it's state funded Serbian Orthodox Church to recognise the independence of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in return for not recognising Kosovo. If Serbia refused then you could show rightly at how the Serbian government is still meddling via religion into Macedonia's affairs. But Macedonia blindly following the West just recognised Kosovo without cutting any deals because it was too afraid to ask Belgrade over the church issue. Now we have the Serbian state using religion by supporting rebel bishops to destabilise Macedonia. Ironically it was a trick perfected by the Soviets.

When you can't think for yourself others will do the thinking for you. If you are lazy with your language you will be lazy with the economy & foreign policy.

Bulgaria has seen this and it is no coincidence that the crazy historical theories hatched in a Sofia cafe are gaining currency in Skopje.

If your intellectual pursuit consists of jumping on cafe tables in Skopje, the Macedonian capital, dancing to the likes of Serb turbo-folk singer Ceca or Bulgarian gender-bender Aziz or effecting the chain smoking bohemian artist stereotype from Belgrade or Brussels or Sofia cafe society and thinking you're cool, it will not help you in the long run. 

THE UKRAINE crisis shows the stupidity of Macedonian foreign & domestic policies of both the major ethnic Macedonian political parties regardless of who is in government at the time. It's a collective stupidity wrapped in an inferiority complex but advertised as culturally superiority. Moreover, If you're lazy with your language, you will be lazy with your foreign policy !


COULD MACEDONIA BE A VICTIM OF THE NEW COLD WAR? 

In 2013 we wrote of Russian President Vladimir "Fred" Putin issuing a warning to the Republic of Macedonia if it didn't do something to stop sections of its ethnic Albanian minority from se
nding jihadist fighters to Syria in the war against the Assad regime. However, the warning wasn't so much aimed at the majority Orthodox Macedonian population. This was before the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea... It would now not be far-fetched or even out of the realms of reality for Russia to take "action" in some form such as espionage, sabotage operations if the Macedonian government, because of US pressure, refused to clamp down hard on the Islamists...

Macedonia is now caught between a rock and a hard place...its foreign policy is in a shambles, run by a political class who jump on the latest fashion without proper independent and strategic thinking; this political class has lurched from Belgrade to Sofia to Brussels to Washington... It simply has failed to understand that it must stand on its own two feet. The answers are not in Belgrade, Sofia, Brussels, Washington or Moscow but to navigate an independent course through the stormy global political terrain.

Professor John Schindler ex-NSA writes:

For years, I studied Russia as a counterintelligence officer for the National Security Agency, and at times I feel like I’m seeing history in reverse. The Kremlin is a fiercely revisionist power, seeking to change the status quo by various forms of force. This will soon involve NATO members in the Baltics directly, as well as Poland and Romania indirectly. Longstanding Russian acumen in what I term Special War, an amalgam of espionage, subversion and terrorism by spies and special operatives, is already known to Russia’s neighbors and can be expected to increase.

In truth, Putin set Russia on a course for Cold War 2.0 as far back as 2007, and perhaps earlier; Western counterintelligence noted major upswings in aggressive Russian espionage and subversion against NATO members as far back as 2006.The brief Georgia war of August 2008, which made clear that the Kremlin was perfectly comfortable with using force in the post-Soviet space, ought to have served as a bigger wake-up call for the West.




RUSSIA IN "DIS-PUTIN" WITH MACEDONIA - Syrian civil war could spill over into the Balkans?
US blowback to blame?
Is Ahmeti playing Russian Roulette?

by Sasha Uzunov - August 2013. link: 

When it comes to reacting to terrorism the Russians have a record of being straight-shooters and simply cutting to the chase, if you pardon the puns. So when Moscow recently issued a warning to The Republic of Macedonia, a small nation in the Balkans region of Southern Europe, to get its house in order and stop harbouring pro-Al Qaeda Islamic terrorists, then it had better take that warning seriously--even though it is not to blame--and it is all connected to the civil war in Syria.

So why are the Russians in "dispute" with Macedonia? First, we need to clarify a few things. The warning is not directed at The Republic of Macedonia as such or the predominately ethnic Macedonian Orthodox Christian population, but at the ethnic Albanian Sunni Muslim extremists within the large ethnic Albanian minority, which forms about 20 to 25% of Macedonia's population and situated in the West along the border with Albania and Kosovo in the North-West.

Some of these extremists have found their way from Macedonia to Syria to fight on the side of the anti-Assad rebels who are aligned with Al Qaeda. One was recently killed in combat. Russia supports Syria's President Bashir al-Assad, an Alawi Muslim, who has backing from Shiite Iran.

So Russia's warning to Macedonia must be seen in this context. However, the Macedonian government, a strange coalition consisting of a Macedonian nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE and an ethnic Albanian nationalist party, DUI, deny the existence of any terrorists camps in Macedonia.    read more.....


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Sunday, March 02, 2014

THE BATTLE FOR POLITICAL & RELIGIOUS SOULS




During the 1970s a ferocious battle involving physical violence, intimidation and interference from the Communist Yugoslav intelligence service, UDBa, exploded for control of the Saint George (Sveti Gjorgji) Macedonian Orthodox Church in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, Australia.


THE UDBa down under in Australia drama continues….
THE ALTIN-PISEVSKI PEACE TREATY 1995 - the battle for Macedonian church control, people's political souls and pockets !

by Sasha Uzunov

In Australia's Melbourne Macedonian Orthodox Church community, the coming together of two long time fierce political rivals: Risto Altin and George Pisevski in 1995 was the equivalent of the USSR's Mikhail Gorbachev and the neo-conservative duo of US's Ronald Reagan and Britain's Margaret Thatcher burying the hatchet and acting like lost brothers and sisters despite decades of the heated Cold War.

"BELGRADE WALL" - Altin's visit behind the Kebap/Chevapchichi Curtain (Iron Curtain) !

During the 1970s a ferocious battle involving physical violence, intimidation and interference from the Communist Yugoslav intelligence service, UDBa, exploded for control of the Saint George (Sveti Gjorgji) Macedonian Orthodox Church in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. Battle lines were drawn with Altin on one side and Pisevski on the other. Instead of the Berlin Wall it was the "Belgrade Wall."

Altin had travelled to then then Socialist Republic of Macedonia, within communist federal Yugoslavia, for an international Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC) conference, known as a Naroden-Crkoven Sobir (Public-Church gathering), in the ancient city of Ohrid. During Altin's stay he had come under pressure to bring his church under Communist Yugoslav control. Rumours abounded of Altin being threatened or bribed or blackmailed into cooperating by UDBa. Others critical of Altin have claimed he was exaggerating the danger. There would no doubt be records of Altin's 1974 visit kept in Macedonia's Interior Ministry, as the successor to Yugoslav intelligence.

"DETENTE: ALTIN GOES HIS WAY - BELGRADE GOES ITS WAY"

On Altin's return to Australia from the 1974 trip, those of his inner circle noticed a change in his behaviour. Some say he was visibly shaken up. What does not remain in doubt is Altin complained to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). In 1976, according to ASIO documents, the then Yugoslav Consul General Georgi Trajkovski began a fierce campaign to takeover the Saint George Church. The Communist authorities in Belgrade as well as those in the SR Macedonian capital of Skopje understood the power and wealth that churches generated amongst emigre Macedonians. In a heated meeting Altin and Trajkovski almost came to physical blows, with Altin running later to ASIO headquarters, then in St Kilda Road, Melbourne, to lodge a complaint.

ASIO was no stranger to Altin. The domestic spy service began monitoring Altin (legal name Christos Pandelis Altis or Chris Altis 1919-2008) in the late 1940s with ASIO informers accused him of being a communist with close links to Melbourne's Greek leftists. Altin, an ethnic Macedonian settled in Australia in the 1930s because of the earlier Greek takeover in 1913 of his homeland. Altin made a fortune in real estate and property development, buying up cheap houses, flats and shops in Melbourne's inner city suburbs. His opponents accused him of being a megalomanic and of using his position for financial gain. His supporters claimed he was a Macedonian patriot who worked hard and was successful in business. Altin had an excellent knowledge of the law gained from his years a Macedonian language interpreter in Victorian state courts. Later, one of his successful tactics to suppress dissent and bankrupt opponents was to sue them for defamation. 

Altin was very well connected with the Australian Labor Party's (ALP) outer northern suburban strongholds in Melbourne, namely Thomastown, Lalor, Epping. 

By 1958 Altin, Dane Trpkou, Stoyan Sarbinov and other leaders--because of a religious and spiritual need of the burgeoning Macedonian community--began fundraising to build a Macedonian Orthodox Church in Young Street, Fitzroy within the framework of the Macedonian Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria incorporated. Money raised at the time was 16,000 Australian pounds ($32,000) or in today's value $350,000 with another 16,000 pounds pledged ($350,000). By 1961 the Church was up and running, with the necessary "blessing" and approval of the spiritual authorities back in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, the newly emerging Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC). Later a split emerged within the Saint George leadership inner circle, leading dissident Stoyan Sarbinov, a highly respected Macedonian activist and newspaper editor, becoming disillusioned with Altin's reign. Sarbinov had his finger on the trigger on the community; in his leadership role within the Macedonian community he had crossed paths with a Victorian Police Special Branch Detective Geoff Gardiner. Gardiner's speciality was monitoring ethnic related violence and counter-terrorism. He knew the inside story, the various factions, the UDBa informers within the Australian-Macedonian community. As a young journalist starting out in the trade in 1989 I got a surprise phone call from Detective Gardiner and over the years he related to me the whole story. My subsequent searches for ASIO documents lodged with the National Archives of Australia have largely confirmed Gardiner's view. 

In 1964, Altin's political life took a heavy toll on himself and his family. His wife Sophia committed suicide after a battle with depression. She was the sister of Paul Deliannis, later to become the second highest ranking cop in the state of Victoria as Assistant Police Commissioner.

Altin's Saint George had purchased a large block of land outside Melbourne in bushland near Kinglake National Park and opened up as a picnic site. In 1973 Bishop Cyril (Vladikata Kiril) direct from SR Macedonia and with the approval of the Yugoslav Communist authorities had flown in to bless the foundation stone for a chapel or church within the picnic grounds. The building was misnamed as a monastery, for reasons unknown, as The Saint Clement of Ohrid monastery (Manastirot Sveti Klimenti Ohridski) even though no monks or nuns planned to live there.

Both Altin and the pro-Yugoslav faction had reached a deadlock, a stalemate. So a kind of unofficial detente existed between the two camps. Sometimes Altin would collaborate with this faction when it suited his political purposes by accepting priests from the city of Skopje who may have been intelligence operatives for UDBa; sometimes Altin resisted. 

THE COMMUNIST ATHEIST WHO BUILT AND LOST A CHURCH - PISEVSKI

At this juncture, Georgi Pisevski enters the the story. Pisevski had the uncanny knack of timing: of knowing when to make his move and/or get out of tricky situations or self-inflicted disaster. Georgi "George" Pisevski (1922-2012) was a Macedonian Partizan resistance fighter during World War II and a high ranking Yugoslav communist party member who after the war became a manager of a state owned company called ZIK Tetovo in the western Macedonian town of Tetovo, then under Yugoslav communist control. Pisevski served in the Macedonian Socialist Republican Parliament during the Yugoslav era.

With his survivor instincts finely tuned, he fled Yugoslavia in the mid 1960s and arrived in Melbourne, Australia, after allegedly embezzling funds from the state owned company. Pisevski, once again, seizing the opportunity for "rehabilitation", began working closely with Yugoslav diplomats in Melbourne. His moment came with the arrival of a thuggish Yugoslav diplomat, of Macedonian ethnicity, Georgi Trajkovski, who needed willing henchmen.

Pisevski was named in an ASIO file belonging to a group very close to Yugoslav Consul General Georgi Trajkovski (1975-79) who bragged about infiltrating and silencing anti-Yugoslav activities in Melbourne.

By the late 1970s many Macedonian migrants had settled in Melbourne's northern suburbs of Northcote, Preston, Reservoir, Thomastown, Lalor, Epping and Bundoora. People of genuine good will and of religious dedication wanted an Orthodox Church to worship in that was closer than inner city Fitzroy with its limited car parking. Pisevski had now found the political stage he needed and also the method to get into the good books of the Yugoslav government. Using his considerable skills of persuasion, Pisevski literally had "sweet-talked" these largely semi-literate Macedonians from a village or peasant background into being their leader. They were not aware of his murky past or hidden agenda. They were to later pay a heavy price in terms of cash and emotional heartache in naively following Pisevski.

By 1977-79 the Saint Nicholas (Sveti Nikola) Macedonian Orthodox Church got off the ground in Tyler Street, Preston. This would become Pisevski's powerbase and act as a counter to Altin's Saint George Church. In toeing the Yugoslav line the seeds of Pisevski's later loss of the church were sown. Ironically, he had embraced a 1974 Church constitution written by the authorities in Skopje placing the assets in their control and not in the local Australian-Macedonian parishioners, despite donating the money in the first place. 

Outside the church, Pisevski ran an import/export business bringing in everyday items and alcohol from SR Macedonia. Altin sarcastically dubbed him Georgi 'Rakijata" (Brandy George).

ENTER THE DRAGAN GASTEVSKI - Pisevski's enforcer !

It could easily be a plot for a Bruce Lee martial arts film or a Quentin Tarantino blockbuster but fact is stranger than fiction. Here in Australia during the early 1970s, clergy, petty thieves, ex-communicated communists, embezzlers, gamblers, bar room brawlers, and international con men were used by the Yugoslav communist secret police, the dreaded UDBa, to spy and intimidate dissident Croats and Macedonians.

According to a de-classified intelligence report compiled by Australia's domestic spies (ASIO), one method of "recruitment" involved the use of a pro-Yugoslav communist Macedonian Orthodox Christian priest, later de-frocked, who in 1976 offered to act as a character witness in a Melbourne court for a known street brawler of Macedonian background, Dragan "Dragi" Gastevski (aka GASHTEVSKI)--who was facing a criminal charge--in return for spying upon Macedonians and Croats.

Street brawler Dragan "Dragi" Gastevski (1946-2012), born in the village of Capari, near the town of Bitola in modern day The Republic of Macedonia, which declared its independence from communist Yugoslavia in 1991. Gastevski was facing a criminal assault charge in 1976 for beating up a pro-Yugoslav Macedonian community leader at Preston Town Hall in Melbourne's north. The Red Priest offered to act as a character witness.

After the fall of Yugoslav communism in 1991, the Red Priest was de-frocked for selling unauthorised souvenirs, such as crucifixes, without church permission.

Melbourne Macedonian community sources have told TEAM UZUNOV that Gastevski tried to throw his weight around in Sydney's Macedonian community but was run out of town and unofficially banned from ever stepping foot in the harbour city.

Gastevski was active in Saint Nicholas in Preston and was an enforcer for Pisevski. Gastevski had been accused of vandalising Altin's car but it was a charge he denied. 

Rapprochement- ALTIN-PISEVSKI PEACE TREATY"

In 1991 the "Belgrade Wall" collapsed. Yugoslavia fell apart and the Republic of Macedonia emerged as one of the successor independent states. As a consequence of this incredible change, there was a re-alignment of political loyalties and alliances. People such as Pisevski who had strongly supported Communist Yugoslavia  had now tried to re-invent themselves as Macedonian patriots, the very people they had worked against prior to 1991. New groups and factions developed. Long time enemies became friends out of political convenience and necessity.

Altin, ever the pragmatist and political chess player par excellence, reached out to Pisevski in 1995, after he anticipated a coming religious and political storm about to engulf the Australian-Macedonian Orthodox community. Altin and Pisevski had a lot to talk about.

HUBRIS & Political chess - PISEVSKI'S 1974 CONSTITUTION COMES BACK TO HAUNT HIM - - Peter's Bishop to Pisevski's Pawns

In December 1994 the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC) authorities in the now independent Republic of Macedonia recalled its Head of the Australian and New Zealand diocese, Bishop Timothy (Vladikata Timotej). In 1995 a three man delegation arrived in Australia: Bishop Peter (Vladikata Petar), Bishop Stephen (Vladikata Stefan) who was later promoted to Archbishop and the Head of the MOC, and Father Ratomir Grozdanoski (ironically the name translates into War-Peace Dennis in English) who later became head of the MOC's theological seminary. 

Altin, sensing that his Saint George Church could be a victim to a "hostile takeover" of its assets and cash by the new MOC authorities swung into action and extended an olive branch to longtime enemy Pisevski, who also had come to the realisation that his Saint Nicholas Church would be taken over. Before long both developed a united front. Pisevski had been warned by some activists of the 1974 MOC constitution was a ticking time bomb and which he had ironically supported and adopted for Saint Nicholas in the 1970s. This constitution, which Altin had fought tooth and nail to keep out of Saint George, came back to haunt Pisevski. But Pisevski ignored the warnings until too late. When he made his move to change the constitution it was too late. Bishop Peter and his supporters and the Pisevski camp fought out the matter in the Victorian Supreme Court in 1998 with the Bishop emerging the winner and Saint Nicholas chalking up a legal bill of $800,000 plus. But ever the canny survivor Pisevski did not pay a cent, others being left to to carry the burden including his henchman Dragan "Dragi" Gastevski to the tune of $15,000 as well as other individuals who had put their faith in Pisevski but ended up being burnt in the hip pocket nerve and in spirit.

As a consequence, the Australian-Macedonian community remains divided over the issue. Some are for Bishop Peter and some against him. The irony is it was the 1974 MOC constitution pushed by the Communist authorities in Belgrade via Skopje that forced Pisevski to hand over the Saint Nicholas Church. The very same regime that Pisevski had put his faith in but as always managed to land on his feet whilst others took the hit!

Previous story: link

Thursday, February 07, 2013
ENTER THE DRAGANS & THE RED PRIEST !

Yugoslav spying in Australia
ENTER THE DRAGANS & THE RED PRIEST !
by Sasha Uzunov

It could easily be a plot for a Bruce Lee martial arts film or a Quentin Tarantino blockbuster but fact is stranger than fiction. Here in Australia during the early 1970s, clergy, petty thieves, ex-communicated communists, embezzlers, gamblers, bar room brawlers, and international con men were used by the Yugoslav communist secret police, the dreaded UDBa, to spy and intimidate dissident Croats and Macedonians.

According to a de-classified intelligence report compiled by Australia's domestic spies (ASIO), one method of "recruitment" involved the use of a pro-Yugoslav communist Macedonian Orthodox Christian priest, later de-frocked, who in 1976 offered to act as a character witness in a Melbourne court for a known street brawler of Macedonian background, Dragan "Dragi" Gastevski (aka GASHTEVSKI)--who was facing a criminal charge--in return for spying upon Macedonians and Croats.

read on ....

-------------------------------------

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LUKE LEON MEDIA (LLM) is the video production arm of TEAM UZUNOV. LLM needs funding to be able to film events overseas or in Australia.
Independent and tough reporting !
http://teamuzunovmedia.blogspot.com.au/

Friday, February 07, 2014

GREEKS BEWARE BULGARIA BEARING GIFTS!


US DIPLOMATIC CABLE - CIA 1975
GREEKS BEWARE BULGARIA BEARING GIFTS!
ELLA RE VOULGARIA ! - FILE (FRIEND in Greek) OR FOE: TODOR ZHIVKOV ?
TI KANIS RE GLIGOROV ? -
The Scramble for Salonika and "Red" Kavala.
One year year after after the fall of the Greek Military dictatorship in 1974, Communist Bulgaria, under its staunch nationalist leader Todor Zhivkov, launched an aggressive diplomatic campaign under the cover of international trade to extend his country's influence in the northern part of Greece, referred to as Aegean Macedonia where a sizable ethnic Macedonian population lived. At the same time Communist Yugoslavia sent two Macedonian leaders to get in on the action as well, a 1975 US diplomatic cable has revealed. 
Greek authorities held fears that the north of the country would fall under communist hegemony and dubbed one town as "Red" Kavala and feared the heavy handed attempt by Sofia to exert its cultural influence: 
IN ADDITION, BULGARIANS ATTEMPTING TO PENETRATE
CULTURAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE HERE WITH REGULAR VISITS
AND PRESENTATIONS. FOR EXAMPLES, LOCAL CONGEN STAGED
ELABORATE (BUT PAINFUL) MUSICAL PROGRAM MAY 22, AND
SOFIA FOLK BALLET WHICH BEGAN TWO WEEK RUN HERE MAY 31
TO APRIL CONGEN SLAVCHEV HOSTED COSTLY RECEPTION AND
FILM SHOWING AT LEADING DOWNTOWN HOTEL ATTENDED BY
RANKING LOCAL DIGNITARIES, INCLUDING MINISTER FOR NORTHERN
GREECE, TO PROMOTE GREEK TOURISM IN BULGARIA.

The Communist Yugoslavia delegation to "Northern Greece" was headed by trusted Tito lieutenant, the Slovenian Stale Dolenc (misspelled in the document as Donalts) and included two Macedonian leaders, Kiro Gligorov, an economics specialist and Speaker of the Federal Yugoslav Parliament and later to become Macedonia's first President in 1991 after independence, and Blagoj Popov. The Greek side seemed to be relaxed with Gligorov and Popov despite the possibility of the Macedonian issue being raised. The Greeks described the Yugoslav visit as a "goodwill tour."
YUGOSLAVIA: PRINCIPAL NEW YUGOSLAV INITIATIVE HERE
WAS MAY 2-6 VISIT TO THESSALONIKI BY COMMUNIST PARTY
SECRETARY GENERAL DONALTS (PHONETIC), WHO REPORTEDLY IS SECONDRANKING GOY OFFICIAL AFTER TITO; PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT GLEGOROV(PHONETIC) AND PM OF SKOPJE GOV POPOV (PHONETIC). VISIT,WHICH INCLUDED CALLS OF MINISTER FOR NORTHERN GREECE
MARTIS AND OTHER LOCAL OFFICIALS, WAS DESCRIBED TO US
BY GREEK OFFICIALS AS "GOODWILL TOUR", BUT MAY HAVE
INCLUDED DISCUSSION OF SENSITIVE MACEDONIAN ISSUE. ON
COMMERCIAL SIDE, WE HAVE NOTED NO DIMINUTION OF YUGOSLAV
SHIPPING HERE FOLLOWING FEBRUARY 4 TERMINATION
OF AGREEMENT FOR EXCLUSIVE YUGOSLAV FREE PORT.

1975 US Diplomatic cable - link 
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---------------------     057080
R 161424Z JUN 75
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9162
INFO ZEN/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
AMEMBASSY SOFIA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 1 OF 3 ATHENS 4426

E.O. 11652: GDS
TAGS: PFOR, PINS, PINT, GR, XH
SUBJ: EASTERN BLOC ACTIVITIES IN NORTHERN GREECE

REF: A. THESSALONIKI 300
B. THESSALONIKI 310
C. THESSALONIKI 288
D. THESSALONIKI A-08, MAY 28, 1975
E. ATHENS 3968

THIS IS A REPEAT OF THESSALONIKI 344: FOLLOWING REPRESENTS OUR
COLLECTED THOUGHTS ON HEIGHTENED EASTERN BLOC ACTIVITY IN
THIS AREA OVER PAST SIX MONTHS.

1. SUMMARY. DRAMATIC INCREASE IN EASTERN BLOC ACTIVITY
IN NORTHERN GREECE IN PAST HALF YEAR SHOULD, WE BELIEVE,
BE VIEWED IN LIGHT OF VIRTUALLY COMPLETE ABSENCE OF COMMUNIST
PRESENCE HERE DURING PRECEDING 8 YEARS. MOREOVER, LOCAL
COMMUNIST BLOC ACTIVITIES UNDOUBTEDLY LOOM LARGER IN CONSERVA-
TIVE AND SMALL TOWN ATMOSPHERE OF THESSALONIKI. IT PROBABLY
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INEVITABLE THAT, GIVEN MORE RECEPTIVE CLIMATE CURRENTLY
PREVAILING IN GREECE, NEARBY COUNTRIES SUCH AS BULGARIA AND
ROMANIA WOULD SEEK ACTIVELY TO PROMOTE COMMERCIAL AND OTHER
INTERESTS IN THIS STRATEGIC AREA. THEIR EFFORTS  N THIS
REGARD RECEIVE STRONG IMPETUS FROM PRESENT GOG OBJECTIVE
OF "REGIONAL NORMALIZATION" (REF E) AS RECENTLY EVIDENCED
IN CARAMANLIS' JOURNEYS TO ROMANIA AND YUGOSLAVIA, HIS
IMMINENT TRIP TO BULGARIA, AND A FLURRY OF LOWER LEVEL
BILATERAL CONSULTATIONS OF THE GOG WITH BALKAN OFFICIALS.
RECOGNIZING THESE CONTRIBUTIVE FACTORS, ACCELERATION OF
COMMUNIST-BLOC ACTIVITIES IN THIS AREA NONETHELESS
REMAINS IMPRESSIVE AND BEARS FURTHER SURVEILLANCE.
END SUMMARY.

2. GENERAL: COMMUNIST BLOC EFFORTS TO REASSERT INFLUENCE
AND COMMERCIAL PRESENCE IN NORTHERN GREECE EXPLINT NEW
POLITICAL CLIMATE AND PERCEPTIBLE INCREASE IN LEFTIST
STRENGTH WHICH CONGEN HAS NOTED OVER PAST YEAR. LATER IS
UNDOUBTEDLY OVERREACTION, PARTICULARLY AMONG UNIVERSITY
AND STUDENT ELEMENTS, TO SUPPRESSION OF THE JUNTA YEARS.
DISPLAYS IN MOST LOCAL BOOKSHOPS, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE DOMI-
NATED BY GREEK LANGUAGE MATERIALS OF EVERY LEFTIST AND
COMMUNIST PERSUASION. SIMILARLY, LEFTIST SPEAKERS ARE IN
OBVIOUS VOGUE AT UNIVERSITY, SUCH AS LEADER OF FRENCH BRANCH
OF FOURTH INTERNAL, ALAIN KRIVINE, WHO DELIVERED TWO
LECTURES MAY 23-24 ON "SOCIALIST REVOLUTION" AND "PORTUGAL".

3. MORE SERIOUS MANIFESTATION OF COMMUNIST STRENGTH AT
LOCAL LEVEL IS ELECTION OF LEFTIST THESSALONIKI MAYOR
PAPADOPOULOS AND MUNICIPAL COUNCIL WHICH INCLUDES A
NUMBER OF KNOWN COMMUNISTS, ONE OF WHOM WAS ELECTED
COUNCIL PRESIDENT JUNE 8. SIMILAR PATTERN ALSO TRUE IN THESSALONIKI
SUBURBS AND KEY CENTERS OF NORTHERN GREECE. ALSO CAUSE FOR CONCERN
IS REPORTED RELAXATION OF GOG POLICY ON REPATRIATION OF GREEKS
FROM EASTERN EUROPE, A HIGH PERCENTAGE OF WHICH
EMIGRATED FROM NORTHERN GREECE.

4. IN COMMERCIAL AREA, THE GOG HAS CALLED FOR INCREASED
TRADE WITH EASTERN EUROPE. THE ANNUAL THESSALONIKI FAIR
APPEARS TO BE EVOLVING INTO A SHOWCASE FOR BLOC MERCHANDISE
AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE, WHILE OTHER COUNTRIES, OURSELVES
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INCLUDED, ARE FORCED BY RISING EXHIBIT COSTS AND COMMERCIAL
PRIORITIES ELSEWHERE TO A MORE MODEST PRESENCE.

5. REGARDING THE STEP-UP IN BLOC CULTURAL PROGRAMS, THE
RATHER MODEST AUDIENCES FOR BULGARIAN CULTURAL PRESENTATIONS
HAVE BEEN GATHERED THROUGH INVITATION WITH THE TICKETS
USUALLY GRATIS. THERE HAVE BEEN EAST GERMAN PROGRAMS WITH
MORE COMMERCIAL ENTERTAINMENT APPEAL WHICH HAVE BEEN FULLY
BOOKED THROUGH TICKET SALES. ON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS,
BLOC COUNTRIES' FILMS AND PROGRAMS ARE PLACED THROUGH
COOPERATION WITH SPECIAL INTERESTS' STUDENT CLUBS -
FILMS, DRAMA, SCIENCE. COMMUNITY AND CAMPUS CULTURAL
AND FRIENDSHIP SOCIETIES HAVE NOT AS YET BEEN ACTIVATED
TO SERVE AS A FORUM OR CONDUIT FOR BLOC CULTURAL PROGRAMMING.
GREEK LANGUAGE RADIO PROGRAMMING, PRIMARILY OF AN ENTERTAIN-
MENT NATURE, FROM SKOPJE AND SOFIA, AND ENGLISH BROADCASTING
FROM TIRANA WITH OBVIOUS IDEOLOGICAL THEMES, ARE THE LONG-
5-,$8,& ?-:(&497,$ 59 5#3 :7443,5 08:(-UP IN CULTURAL
PRESENTATIONS IN THE NORTH OF GREECE.

6. FOLLOWING ON A COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY BASIS IS A SUMMARY
OF RECENT COMMUNIST INITIATIVES HERE IN THESSALINIKI. BULGARIANS
HAVE BEEN BY ALL ODDS MOST ACTIVE AND, WE BELIEVE WITH SOVIET BACKING
AND PISSIBLY GUIDANCE, APPEAR TO BE SPEARHEADING BLOC
EFFORTS TO INCREASE LOCAL PRESENCE. OTHER COUNTRIES SUCH
AS POLAND, WHICH BUILT AND SUPERVISES OPERATION OF
SUGAR REFINERIES AT SERRES, XANTHI AND ORESTIAS, HAVE NOT
NOTABLY INCREASED PRESENCE AND ARE NOT INCLUDED BELOW.


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AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
AMEMBASSY SOFIA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 2 OF 3 ATHENS 4426

7. BULGARIA: MOST ACTIVE OF BLOC COUNTRIES HERE, BULGARIA
ESTABLISHED CONSULATE GENERAL IN THESSALONIKI
IN JANUARY 1974 AND HAS SPONSORED SERIES OF HIGH LEVEL
DELEGATION IN 1975. LATTER INCLUDE VISITS BY BULGARIAN
TRADE UNDER SECRETARY CHRISTOV JANUARY 19, TRANS-
PORT UNDER SECRETARY FERDOV FEBRUARY 8-11, UNDER SECRE-
TARY OF MINES ZAPRENOV FEBRUARY 16, ARCHBISHOP NICOLAI
MAKAROPOLSKY APPROXIMATELY MAY 5-15, AND PATRIARCH MAXIMOS
WHO RECENTLY VISITED THESSALONIKI, KATERINI AND MOUNT
ATHOS WITH LARGE RETINUE AS PART OF PUBLICIZED MAY 28-
JUNE 4 VISIT TO GREECE. BOTH OF LATTER ARE REPORTEDLY
INTERESTED IN AUGMENTING NUMBER OF EASTERN (SLAVIC)
ORTHODOX MONKS AT MT. ATHOS, WHICH ORIGINALLY BROACHED DURING
OCTOBER 1972 VISIT BY RUSSIAN PATRIARCH PIMEN.

8. ON COMMERCIAL SIDE, BULGARIAN EXPANSION STIMULATED
BY FEBRUARY 13 AGREEMENT FOR INCREASING TRANSIT TRADE
THROUGH PORT OF THESSALONIKI AND UPGRADING OF THESS-
LONIKI-KULATA RAILWAY. AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, BULGARIANS
ALSO SIGNED AGREEMENT FEBRUARY 19 WITH HELLENIC STEEL FOR
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INITIAL $9 MILLION EXCHANGE OF SEMI-PROCESSED COILS FOR
FINISHED PRODUCTS AND ARE EXPLORING POSSIBLE CONSTRUCTION
OF ALUMINUM PROCESSING PLANT IN XANTHI AREA TO
PROMOTE LINKAGE OF TWO COUNTRIES' POWER GRIDS. IN THIS
CONNECTION, CONGEN SLAVCHEV NOTED TO ME (I.E. BRENNAN) THAT
APPROXIMATELY 45 PERCENT OF BULGARIAN-GREEK TRADE IS CONDUCTED
IN NORTH, AND BULGARIANS WILL SOON ESTABLISH TWO-MAN
COMMERCIAL OFFICE HERE. BULGARIAN OFFICIALS ARE TALKING
ABOUT A POSSIBLE INCREASE IN THEIR TONNAGE HANDLED THROUGH
THESSALONIKI FROM A PROJECTED 400,000 TONS ANNUALLY IN
1975 TO THREE MILLION TONS BY 1978.

9. IN ADDITION, BULGARIANS ATTEMPTING TO PENETRATE
CULTURAL AND PROFESSIONAL LIFE HERE WITH REGULAR VISITS
AND PRESENTATIONS. FOR EXAMPLES, LOCAL CONGEN STAGED
ELABORATE (BUT PAINFUL) MUSICAL PROGRAM MAY 22, AND
SOFIA FOLK BALLET WHICH BEGAN TWO WEEK RUN HERE MAY 31
TO APRIL CONGEN SLAVCHEV HOSTED COSTLY RECEPTION AND
FILM SHOWING AT LEADING DOWNTOWN HOTEL ATTENDED BY
RANKING LOCAL DIGNITARIES, INCLUDING MINISTER FOR NORTHERN
GREECE, TO PROMOTE GREEK TOURISM IN BULGARIA.
PROGRAM FOR 20TH WORLD VETERINARY CONGRESS HERE
JULY 6-12 ALSO INDICATES DISPROPORTIONATELY HIGH
BULGARIAN PRESENCE AMONG PARTICIPANTS AND SPEAKERS.

10. ACTIVITIES ABOVE COORDINATED BY 6-7 MAN STAFF
HEADED BY SLAVCHEV, WHO FLUENT IN GREEK, VETERAN OF MORE THAN FOUR
YEARS AT ATHENS EMBASSY, AND AMONG MOST ACTIVE MEMBERS OF
LOCAL CONSULAR CORPS. AS EXAMPLE, SLAVCHEV MADE SPECIAL
CALL ON MINISTER FOR NORTHERN GREECE MARTIS TO PROMOTE USE
OF TWO BULGARIAN FILMS DURING LOCAL MAY 24-JUNE 1 ENVIRON-
MENTAL PROTECTION WEEK. SLAVCHEV ALSO ATTEMPTING TO
PURCHASE LOT FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NEW 8-FLOOR SHOWCASE
CONSULATE BUILDING, PRESUMABLY TO INCLUDE RESIDENCES AND
NEW COMMERCIAL OFFICES.

11. EAST GERMANY: EAST GERMAN PRESENCE LED BY FIRST
LOCAL VISIT ON APRIL 28-29 OF AMBASSADOR KUBE (REF A),
WHO PROMISED VARIETY OF MUSICAL EVENTS HERE INCLUDING
EAST GERMAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DURING AUGUST 1975, AND
VARIOUS CULTURAL PRESENTATIONS. LATTER INCLUDE GDR FILM
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FESTIVAL, OPENED AT LOCAL THEATER MAY 12 BY CULTURAL
ATTACHE HAASE, AND PHOTO AND DESIGN EXHIBIT ON CONTEMPORARY
GDR THEATER AT UNIVERSITY POLYTECHNIC SCHOOL MAY 19-26.
FILMS SHOWN DURING FESTIVAL INCLUDED DOCUMENTARY ON CHILE,
LIFE OF ROSA LUXEMBOURG, AND "LIFE OF ANARACHIST".

12. YUGOSLAVIA: PRINCIPAL NEW YUGOSLAV INITIATIVE HERE
WAS MAY 2-6 VISIT TO THESSALONIKI BY COMMUNIST PARTY
SECRETARY GENERAL DONALTS (PHONETIC), WHO REPORTEDLY IS SECOND
RANKING GOY OFFICIAL AFTER TITO; PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT GLEGOROV
(PHONETIC) AND PM OF SKOPJE GOV POPOV (PHONETIC). VISIT,
WHICH INCLUDED CALLS OF MINISTER FOR NORTHERN GREECE
MARTIS AND OTHER LOCAL OFFICIALS, WAS DESCRIBED TO US
BY GREEK OFFICIALS AS "GOODWILL TOUR", BUT MAY HAVE
INCLUDED DISCUSSION OF SENSITIVE MACEDONIAN ISSUE. ON
COMMERCIAL SIDE, WE HAVE NOTED NO DIMINUTION OF YUGOSLAV
SHIPPING HERE FOLLOWING FEBRUARY 4 TERMINATION
OF AGREEMENT FOR EXCLUSIVE YUGOSLAV FREE PORT.

13. CZECHOSLOVAKIA: PRESENCE OF CZECHS, WHO HAVE
NO PERMANENT REPRESENTATION HERE, NOTED IN TWO COMMEERCIAL
DELEGATIONS. SPECIALIZED DELEGATION TO INVESTIGATE
ASBESTOS, CHROME AND OTHER ORES, VISITED EDESSA AREA IN
EARLY MARCH, AND AGREEMENT IS REPORTEDLY PENDING FOR CZECH
EXPLOITATION OF THESE MINERALS. MORE SUBSTANTIAL 10-MAN
DELEGATION HEADED BY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PRESIDENT L.
CERNY VISITED THESSALONIKI MAY 15, BUT LOCAL OFFICIALS
REPORT THAT MISSION'S TIME HERE WAS TOO SHORT FOR SERIOUS
BUSINESS.

14. USSR: OVERT SOVIET PRESENCE HERE LIMITED TO RECENT
VISITS BY AMBASSADOR YESOV AND EMBASSY OFFICIALS. AS
REPORTED REF B, YESOV LAID WREATH MAY 15 AT LOCAL GRAVES
OF ALLEGED SOVIET WORLD WAR II DEAD, FOLLOWING SIMILAR
CEREMONY HERE BY FOUR EMBASSY OFFICERS MARCH 1 FOR RED
ARMY DAY. AS ON PREVIOUS OCCASIONS, SOVIET OFFICIALS
BEGAN MAY VISIT WITH EXTENDED CONSULTATION AT BULGARIAN
CONGEN. ACCORDING TO SOVIET COUNSELOR, USSR ALSO CON-
SIDERING ESTABLISHMENT OF CONSULATE GENERAL IN THESSA-
LINIKI AND COMMERCIALLY, SOVIET REPRESENTATIVE GOUROV MADE
EXTENDED VISIT DURING DECEMBER, OSTENSIBLY TO
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EXPLORE SOVIET PURCHASES OF LOCAL TOBACCO, FRUIT,
WINE AND FOOTWEAR, AS REPORTED EARLIER, SOVIET PROJECT
FOR ENERGY PLANT AT PHILIPPI HAS BEEN SCRAPPED, BUT
USSR LIKELY TO BE INVOLVED IN ALTERNATE PROPOSAL SUCH
AS PTOLEMAI'S LIGNITE EXPLOITATION. CONGEN HAS ALSO
NOTED, BUT DOES NOT HAVE CONCLUSIVE FIGURES ON,
EXPANDED SOVIET SHIPPING THROUGH LOCAL PORT.


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44
ACTION EUR-12

INFO  OCT-01  ISO-00  CIAE-00  DODE-00  PM-03  H-02  INR-07  L-03

NSAE-00  NSC-05  PA-01  PRS-01  SP-02  SS-15  USIA-06

ACDA-05  SAJ-01  OMB-01  EB-07  COME-00  CU-02  INT-05

TRSE-00  /079 W
---------------------     058177
R 161424Z JUN 75
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9163
INFO ZEN/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
AMEMBASSY SOFIA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 3 OF 3 ATHENS 4426

15. ROMANIA: WHILE ROMANIAN PRESENCE IN NORTH SO FAR
LIMITED TO SINGLE COMMERCIAL REPRESENTATIVE, REQUEST FOR
UPGRADING LOCAL TRADE MISSION TO CONSULATE GENERAL
STATUS IS PENDING. SENIOR GREEK SECURITY OFFICER
INFORMED US MAY 28 THAT ARRANGEMENT FOR CONGEN
HERE AND RECIPROCAL GREEK MISSION IN CONSTANTA WAS
PROBABLY INCLUDED IN ACCORD SIGNED PREVIOUS DAY
BY PM CARAMANLIS IN BUCHAREST. APRIL 15 GREEK-
ROMANIAN TRADE AGREEMENT IS ALSO EXPECTED TO RESULT
IN INCREASED ROMANIAN USE OF EXPANDED FREE ZONE HERE.

16. COMMENT: AS NOTED ABOVE, WE SEE THESE ACTIVITIES
AS PART OF PREDICTABLE COMMUNIST EFFORT TO ESTABLISH
PRESENCE ON NORTHERN GREEK SCENE FOLLOWING OVERTHROW
OF JUNTA. WHILE THIS REPRESENTS A QUANTUM JUMP IN
LEVEL OF COMMUNIST ACTIVITY, IT IS THUS FAR WELL SHORT OF
MASSIVE PENETRATION. NONETHELESS, IT ISCAUSE FOR
INCREASING CONCERN AMONG MANY CONSERVATE NORTHERNERS
WHO RECALL HISTORIC SLAV INTEREST IN AEGEAN OUTLET AND
RETAIN SHARP PERSONAL MEMORIES OF CIVIL WAR. WHILE WE
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BELIEVE LOCAL BLOC PRESENCE WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE,
PARTICULARLY IN COMMERCIAL AREA, THERE SEEM TO BE
DEFINITE LIMITS TO DEGREE OF INFLUENCE WHICH THEY MAY
BE PERMITTED TO ATTAIN UNDER PRESENT CONDITIONS. IN
RECENT PRIVATE CONVERSATION. POLITICALS AFFAIRS ADVISER
TO MINISTER FOR NORTHERN GREECE CONFIDED THAT GOG AND
MINISTRY FULLY AWARE OF GROWING COMMUNIST PRESENCE IN
THIS AREA AND KEEPING CLOSE WATCH ON IT. ONE POSITIVE
INDICATION IS REPORT FROM RELIABLE SOURCE THAT LOCAL
POLICE HAVE ALREADY ACTED TO BLOCK BULGARIAN PURCHASE
OF PROPERTY FOR CONGEN BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN HARBOR
SECTOR OF CITY. ALTHOUGH THE NEW MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL
WITH LEFTIST SYMPATHIES MIGHT OFFER THEIR GOOD OFFICES
TO OVERCOME THE POLICE OBJECTIONS, OUR IMPRESSION IS THAT THEY
WILL NOT, PREFERRING TO ACCEPT THE SECURITY CONSI-
DERATION AS THE OVERRIDING INTEREST. ALTHOUGH ONE
WOULD EXPECT THAT BLOC REPRESENTATIVES WOULD ATTEMPT
TO MANIPULATE TO POLITICAL ADVANTAGE CADRES REMAINING
FROM ACTIVE PRE-JUNTA COMMUNIST ORGANIZATIONS IN
THESSALONIKI AND "RED KAVALLA", INSOFAR AS WE AWARE,
THEY HAVE THUS FAR REFRAINED FROM INFERENCE OF
INTERVENTION WITH COMMUNIST AND OTHER POLITICAL PARTIES
IN THIS AREA. HOWEVER, GREEK OFFICIALS AND OTHERS HAVE
REPORTED TO US THAT IN PRIVATE CONGEN SLAVCHEV AND
OTHERS SCATHINGLY CRITICIZE U.S. IN OBVIOUS EFFORT TO
UNDERMINE AMERICAN PRESENCE HERE.
KUBISCH


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